In the article by Publisher’s Weekly, and picked up by AnimeonDVD.com, Tokyopop has pulled out of it’s exhibit space at the San Diego Comic Con. Some might see this as another sign of them going down. I see it as another smart move.
Exhibit space has no doubt become very expensive at Comic Con International, as it’s at a premium. The Exhibit Hall (aka Dealer’s room as it was once called many, many moons ago), now takes up the entire convention hall first level. And the space Tokyopop has been getting for the last few years was an entire block, enough to fit at least 10 vendors in, but they weren’t doing anything really productive with this space. Maybe 1/4 of it was used for a local vendor to seel books (not them), the other 3/4’s was used for computers to log into their website (last year) and hold autograph sessions with their creators. For the money that they must have been pouring in, that’s not a very effective use of the space, if you ask me.
Now, just because they pulled out of the Exhibit Hall, does that mean they won’t show up at the convention? Hardly. San Diego Comic Con has been becoming less and less of a comic convention and more of a media convention. This is the place you come to to show off you new TV shows and Movies, strut your stars in front of the fans, and run trailers and scenes from upcoming shows to gage fan reaction. It’s also the place you go to to make deals. There is a lot of behind the scenes deal-making going on at SDCC, that we as fans don’t see or hear about. And with a new media company that is going to want to get comic licenses made into other media, there ARE going to be people from TP walking around.
Also, Tokyopop is based in Los Angeles. It’s just a 2 hour drive down the I-5 (give or take) to go. So it’s not like they are flying across country to attend the event. I expect to still see a Tokyopop panel, and Tokyopop representitives on other panels, in the portfolio reviews area, and maybe even some creators (local) in the autographs area.
Not having to maintain space down on a floor that already overcrowded, impossible to walk in one day, and more media circus than productive business, Tokyopop is making a smart financial move. And in these tough times, that’s something we all have to do.